How these two teams are making women and girls safer

Holding perpetrators to account for their behaviour.

I was in Folkestone yesterday, meeting two teams focussed on keeping women and girls safe.

They’re doing great work #MakingKentSafer by arresting abusers and protecting victims.

Here’s what those teams do and their great arrest records.

Meet the Proactive Vulnerability Team (pictured) 👋

They’re based in East Kent and were formed in May 2020. There’s ten Officers on the team.

They target offenders who breach domestic abuse prevention orders and other orders/conditions, and arrest outstanding suspects.

In their first year alone, they arrested 618 people and as a result recorded over 1000 crimes.

Over the 21 months they’ve been in place, they’ve surpassed 950 arrests, with a thousand on the horizon.

That’s perpetrators being held to account for their behaviour.

People who have already come to the police’s attention – being monitored and dealt with.

As a result, many have been charged with offences, recalled to prison, or imprisoned for new offences.

I also met the East Kent MOSOVO team. 👋

They manage sexual and violent offenders, ensuring that sexual harm prevention orders (SHPO) are adhered to and conditions being complied with.

They are achieving very high charge rates when they are discovering breaches.

When a SHPO is breached, they’re getting 73.5% charge rate, and that number rises with other positive outcomes.

And a number recalled to prison too.

These are just two of the teams dealing with #vawg, but show how perpetrators are being targeted.

The Force’s new strategy, which has been informed by my inquiry, will improve the response further.

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Violence against women and girls inquiry launched

Violence against women and girls remains one of the most important challenges of our time.

Violence against women and girls remains one of the most important challenges of our time.

With high profile tragedies, powerful testimony from survivors and challenges in our justice system, we all have to come together to make changes.

That’s why today, I’m launching a system-wise review on the subject of violence against women and girls, which will look at prevention, education, the victim journey and how we deal with perpetrators.

Consultation and workshops will follow as well as high level meetings with the Chief Constable, Criminal Justice agencies, service providers and survivors. This will include men and boys too.

This is our opportunity to build the best possible picture and make meaningful changes for the future. I hope you will join me on this mission.

To keep up to date on the latest developments, visit

Domestic abuse continues to rise even as lockdown eases

Domestic abuse reports have risen in recent years and continue to do so during the pandemic.

Every Monday, I meet with Chief Officers to discuss crime and antisocial behaviour, operational issues, performance, community engagement and the matters that residents raise with me.

A key issue during the course of the last fifteen months has been domestic abuse and violence, which many correctly warned would increase in volume during the period of lockdown. There has, over the last five years, been an increasing number of reports made by victims to police of 47%. (Source).

I have been briefed this week that the numbers of crimes have continued to rise, with an increase of 9.7% this April compared with April last year. And in April 2020 we had seen an increase of 14.1%.

There will be a number of reasons for this rise. There is of course greater awareness through increased efforts to encourage people to come forward, both at a local and national level. This increase in confidence is a positive step, even if it seems like an increase in crime reports might be negative; it’s important because more people can get support from the police and others, especially if they have reported for the first time.

Other factors have been contributing to the increase – domestic abuse between family members has been on the increase for some time and locally we have new services in place to support victims of adolescent to parent violence. Crime recording standards have improved. And unfortunately, the nature of lockdown itself will have contributed to the increase as well.

We also discussed the landmark Domestic Abuse Act, which has received Royal Assent. This is an excellent development because for the first time we will have a legal definition of domestic abuse that is wide-ranging and delivers extra protections and support for victims. I will be working with Kent Police and the charities that I commission to ensure that we are all ready for the implementation of the Act.

Please remember, if you or someone you know needs help, dial 999 in an emergency. Information about support services can be found here.

Funding secured to support victims of abuse

My team and I have secured extra cash for services specially designed to help people who’ve suffered either domestic abuse or sexual violence.

The Government has agreed to give more than £1.38 million to help support some of Kent’s most vulnerable people. Domestic Abuse has risen across the country during the pandemic and Kent’s Police Force dealt with 3233 more victims than the previous year (an increase of 9% since 2019).

My team and I have secured extra cash for services specially designed to help people who’ve suffered either domestic abuse or sexual violence. It’s on top of a further £275,000 already being spent helping young victims of sexual violence.

I am delighted these vital services are receiving extra funding. The work they do is invaluable and without them some of the most vulnerable people in our community would simply be unable to cope. They help children and adults alike and despite very real challenges, they make a huge difference to so many.

I am committed to working to reduce the pain caused by domestic abuse and sexual violence and it remains a priority for my second term in post.